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The Week in Reviews, Op. 10: Karen Gomyo, Joshua Bell, Frank Peter Zimmermann in concert

Robert Niles

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Published: November 26, 2013 at 6:24 PM [UTC]

Each week, brings you links to reviews of professional violin performances from around the world.

Joshua Bell performed the Sibelius with the Dallas Symphony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy

  • D Magazine: "Bell gave an impassioned and technically awe-inspiring rendition of the Sibelius."
  • Dallas Morning News: "In the Sibelius Violin Concerto, with a tone that could shade from immensity to intimacy, Joshua Bell was as compelling a soloist as could be imagined."
  • "Bell...delivered his own take on the concerto and the effect was one of an extended improvisation."

Karen Gomyo

Karen Gomyo performed the Britten with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra for its Britten Centennial concerts

  • NOLA Defender: "Wielding a Stradivarius, the virtuoso offered a seemingly effortless solo performance of the demanding, often percussive concerto…If there was one thing audiences could take away from the weekend celebration, it was that the music of Benjamin Britten is very much alive, well, and enthusiastically received."

Anne Akiko Meyers performed Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" with the Buffalo Philharmonic

  • Buffalo News: "It was a thrill just to be in the same room with (the Guarneri del Gesu that was once owned by the 19th-century virtuoso Henri Vieuxtemps). And it sounded glorious. It was brilliant but mellow, with a big clear openness of tone."

Philippe Quint performed the Mendelssohn with the San Antonio Symphony

  • San Antonio Express-News: "Quint stayed in bounds but colored his interpretation with a glistening tone, an authoritative approach and a playful imagination."

Patricia Kopatchinskaja performed Bartók's Violin Concerto no. 2 with the Boston Philharmonic

Frank Peter Zimmermann performed the Dvorák with the Los Angeles Philharmonic

  • "He is obviously a violinist with a beautiful vibrato, great technique and sensitivity."
  • Los Angeles Times: "In June (conductor Manfred Honeck) recorded Dvorák’s Violin Concerto in Berlin with Anne-Sophie Mutter (Deutsche Grammophon), yet his rendition with violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann on Thursday was considerably faster in tempo, with Zimmermann playing more incisively and with not as much plush emotion as Mutter."

Tasmin Little performed the Brahms with the Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra

  • Shropshire Live: "Tasmin Little is remarkable – the Brahms violin concerto may not be the showiest of pieces, but it is among the most difficult, and the rapid, flighty passages, double and triple stops and other technical challenges were all dispensed with clarity and control and with a total lack of ostentation."

Minnesota Orchestra Musicians performed Wagner, Mozart, Brahms

  • "World-class orchestras can make silence tremble, and the Minnesota Orchestra is a world-class orchestra, still."

* * *

In other violin-related news this week:

The Smithsonian let its collection of Stradivari out for a spin this weekend

  • Washingtonian: "Under the watchful eye of federal marshals, the Smithsonian permitted many millions of dollars worth of Stradivarius violins out of the vault and out on the town on Friday night, on behalf of the Year of Italian Culture in the USA."

Andrew Bird performed in concert at the University of California at Santa Barbara

  • Santa Barbara Independent: "That Bird has long been heralded as a must-see act on the indie music scene is no surprise; his violin prowess alone is enough to draw crowds. But alone onstage last Thursday, Bird proved himself as more than a man worthy of his accolades; he showed us what it means to be a true performer."

Elizabeth Pitcairn performed a free concert for school children in Broadalbin, New York

  • The Leader-Herald: "To bring culture to this area is huge. Being an art teacher, we don't have enough arts and culture within the school so it was huge for her to come here and do this. It's just unbelievable."

What do you think of these reviews? Did you attend a concert this week? We'd love to hear about it in the comments.

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